March 13, 2022

For the Skeptics

I. God Is Faithful

II. God Is Strong

III. God Is Merciful

IV. Christ Is Real

For the Skeptics (Luke 3:23-38)

        Recently, it has become popular to take genetic tests to determine your nationality or ethnicity… Who have taken that test? Everyone wants to find their Jewishness, but I am hoping to find some English monarchy roots… I was recently advised not to write my real name on the application… this immediately alarmed me on the accuracy of the test… Today, we will look at the genetic test of one person – at the geneology of Jesus Christ.

        Read (Luk. 3:23-38)

        We are skeptics by nature. Moreover, skepticism increases in proportion to the improbability of any statement. For example, if I say that I have never received a fine, then some of you will doubt, but many will believe me, but if I say that I always drive in accordance to all the rules and regulations… the percentage of skeptics will increase… The more incredible the statement, the more skeptical we are about it. Now, what do we do with the statements made by the Bible that Jesus is a man and God at the same time? And how do we react to the fact that God planned the death of Jesus Christ on the cross before He created this world? The level of our doubt and skepticism is proportionally increases with the improbability of the fact presented.

        How do we check if something is real and true? With children, it’s easy – look into my eyes… did you take the candies? With adults, this process is more complicated. Looking into the eyes is awkward. We begin to ask many questions, and sometimes similar ones, to identify inconsistency in answers. We want to be sure and know the truth. Evangelist Luke, realizing that people will be tempted to read his story with skepticism, as an excellent apologist, periodically offers inserts that disarm skeptics. Today’s text is for you. If you have been skeptical about the Bible, believers, and even the God of the Bible, today’s text will help you.

        There are two genealogies of Jesus in the NT; in Matthew and Luke. They differ. If in Matthew the main goal is to unite the OT and the NT, in Luke, it is to unite God and people! Matthew brings the genealogy to Abraham (the father of the Jews), and Luke brings the genealogy to God, indicating that Jesus is the savior for all nations!

        Mathew’s genealogy of Jesus presents Joseph as the legal father, however, Luke’s genealogy presents of Jesus through Mary (v. 23) – “as they thought” – but the previous chapters have already revealed to us that physically, Jesus was only the son of Mary!

        Question: What is the purpose Luke had in mind by listing 77 names? We will find at least 4 reasons that moved Luke in listing these names to help us work on our personal skepticism!

        4 factors in the genealogy of Christ that shatter our skepticism

I. God Is Faithful

        (v. 38) Adam (Gen. 3:15, 21) – the promise that the seed from Adam and Eve would bring deliverance and victory over the serpent was fulfilled!

        (v. 34) Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 7) – offspring/seed

        (v. 33) Judah (Gen. 49:8-10) – the seed is linked with the kingdom

        (v. 31) David (2 Sam. 7:12-16) – the king will reign forever!

        (Is. 9:6; 7:14) – the seed will be of the divine origin

        Jesus Christ is not a spontaneous plan for the salvation of mankind.

        This is God’s plan from the foundation of the world.

        (Rev. 13:8) Book’s title: “The Lamb who was Slain” before the foundation of the world!!

        If we do not believe in God’s sovereignty over the entire human history, then it will be very difficult for us to come to terms with the circumstances that are happening right now in the world and your own life! God is faithful and you can trust Him with your doubts!

II. God Is Strong – Some people shouldn’t be on this list – it’s a miracle!

        (v. 36) Noah and Shem

        (v. 34) Isaac (laughter)… Abraham was 100 years, and Sarah 90

        (v. 34) Jacob (20 years no children; and he is not the firstborn)…

        (v. 32) Obed (Boaz is an older bachelor, Ruth is the Moabite woman… no chances, but God uniquely introduces her into the people of God)

        (v. 23) Jesus (born of a virgin)

        There is a place on this list for you and me! And it is possible because God is poweverful to save sinners. He takes these imperfect people and makes them part of His unique plan in history. Don’t doubt what God can do in your life!

III. God Is Merciful

        All these people are not worthy to be in this bloodline… all are sinners, but some do not have the right to be there at all…

        (v. 38) Adam – led everyone into sin, and God promised him that he would die, but God extended his life so that he would have children…

        (v. 33) Perez… (a very scandalous story when Perez’s father, Judah, mistook Perez’s mother for prostitute, although she was his son’s widow).

        (v. 31) David and Nathan… David, using his power, took his neighbor’s wife, got rid of her husband, and from this woman had children, one whom was Nathan… Humanly speaking, neither David, nor Nathan should even be mentioned as part of this genealogy.

        Dear ones, God is merciful! He forgives, accepts, transforms and does not shun his children. This is the basis for your hope!

IV. Christ Is Real

        All the listed names say that the historicity of Jesus Christ is beyond doubt!

        What for? We have reliable information that can save us.

        First, Matthew stopped Jesus’ lineage on Abraham, and showed that Christ is part of Israel – He is their promised Messiah. Luke, traced the genealogy to Adam, and showed that Christ is a relative to all mankind, since we are all children of Adam. The second important thought is that Adam the son of God says that God created man in His own image and likeness (Gen. 1:27). This is important from the point that we are all equal before God and each other – all national, all racial, cultural differences are erased because we are all created in the image of God!!!

        Most importantly, everyone sinned in Adam (Rom. 5:12-19), but the one who comes to Christ is forgiven according to the same principle of imputation.

        In order for us to be part of this lineage, a supernatural action is necessary – God’s unique action – when God opens our eyes to the sinfulness of which the conscience testifies, and we realize that we need to receive the forgiveness of sins on the basis, not of our works, but on the perfect feat of Jesus Christ! If this is you, dear friend, come to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins!

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